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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 February 2019

Saudi Arabia grants women right to serve as privates at security institute

It comes as part of a larger bid by the kingdom to give women greater freedoms

Saudi students walk at the exhibition to guide job seekers at Glowork Women's Career Fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2018. Reuters 
Saudi students walk at the exhibition to guide job seekers at Glowork Women's Career Fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2018. Reuters 

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that women are eligible for admission to rank of private, in a move that is seen to boost female empowerment in the kingdom.

Directives issued by the Interior Ministry said that applications must be born, raised and bred in Saudi Arabia, except for those women who grew up abroad while their family members served the country in international roles.

The applicants are required to undertake a medical exam, an interview and a written test which will be administered by the institute.

A list of requirements says the women must be aged between 25 and 35, have no criminal convictions and should not be less than 160cm in height.

They must also have an independent valid national identification card.

Applications for the Women’s Security Training Institute will be open from February 10 to February 14.

The Riyadh-based college specialises in training and educating students in security and military fields. Many of its graduates typically find jobs in government ministries such as the interior, civil defense, immigration and the police forces.

In February 2018, the Kingdom granted women the right to apply to join the country’s military service.

Women were told to apply for position with the rank of solider in the provinces of Riyadh, Mecca, Al Qassim and Medina.

It gave women the opportunity to work in the kingdom’s security sector.

Saudi Arabia has launched various campaigns to empower its female population as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan to modernise the country and accelerate economic development.

The crown prince has spoken repeatedly of giving women greater rights and protections.

Women's participation in the country's private and public sector jobs has been a key aspect of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification plans, with ambitions to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent.

Last June, the kingdom lifted a ban on women driving, giving them greater mobility and independence. More than 120,000 Saudi women applied for driving licences in the first month after the ban was lifted, according to the Interior Ministry.

The government has also allowed women to attend football matches and has given them the right to manage their pregnancy without permission from a male guardian.

Updated: February 7, 2019 09:17 AM

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